Just 14 runs stand between Murray Valley Cricket Association powerhouse Nathalia and a second straight outright victory.
The Purples have bounced back ominously from their first loss of the premier division season in the final one-day match, firstly dismantling Cobram-Yarroweyah United and now having a stranglehold over Finley.
The Cats, after winning the toss and batting first, had negotiated the early danger of the new ball to reach 1-23 at Nathalia Recreation Reserve.
But that was where the fun ended.
An astounding collapse of 9-18 followed to leave the away side all out for 41 inside 26 overs.
Ash Quinn resumed his duties as main destroyer for Nathalia, snaring 6-14 from his 13 overs (including eight maidens), while Clancy Congues (2-10) and Luke Carter (1-17) were the only other bowlers needed to clean up Finley’s long tail.
The Purples did not have it all their own way with the bat, scratching their way to 8-92 from 30 overs before declaring, but again dominated with the ball late in the day.
This time it was Brayden Summerville (5-19), Scott Morris (3-3) and Tom Nihill (2-3) leading the charge to bowl the Cats out for 64.
Cameron Isedale was the most productive batter for the day with 24 runs for Finley, while Summerville’s 23 included two sixes.
It leaves Nathalia just 13 runs behind heading into tomorrow’s day-two proceedings, but with plenty of inclement weather around the side’s openers will look to finish the match with a few lusty blows.
Two other clashes could reach quick conclusions tomorrow with Barooga and Deniliquin closing in on first innings points.
The Hawks bowled Cobram out for 133 on day one, and have made their way to 6-109 from 40 overs.
Cameron Nye (five not out) and Shane Healey (13 not out) will resume their already long stints at the crease, with the pair facing 46 and 30 balls respectively to make sure the contest entered a second day.
At Memorial Park the Rhinos need just 13 runs to claim victory after skittling United for 122 and grinding their way to 5-110 at stumps.
The combine would have held hope of defending its small total when Deniliquin fell to 3-3 in the chase, but Andrew Hogan (65 not out) and Liam Pitts (30) steadied the ship.
Meanwhile, Katamatite’s season could hang in the balance as it attempts to match a huge Waaia batting effort.
The Tigers will resume on 3-19 tomorrow in response to Waaia’s 8-272 declared.
Both sides sit two games outside the top four, but if either can snare victory before weather intervenes they will find themselves breathing down Cobram’s neck.